Along with many independent schools the House Schools Group uses the Montessori method because it is effective. Alongside other methods and techniques in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), it has a proven successful track record in the early years of child development in maximising each child’s own abilities. It provides a very solid foundation and academic base for children right at the start of their school life.
Montessori teaching is based on the work of Maria Montessori. In the 20th century, she was one of the most influential pioneers of educational theory relating to young children.
She was born in 1870 in Italy and was the first woman to graduate from the University of Rome as a doctor of medicine. This led her to become interested in children with learning difficulties, those probably termed ‘special needs children’ today. She approached the challenges of education as a scientist rather than as an educator or philosopher.
Working with many young children she used the classroom as an educational laboratory in which to observe them and to try out new ideas and techniques. Her method is founded on a warm and secure environment in which children can most easily absorb information.
This experience has proved enormously successful throughout the world. Her methodology uses a practical approach within a carefully planned learning environment. Her philosophy centres on the freedom of the child.
She believed that children were by nature motivated to learn and, if provided with stimulating activities appropriate to their stage of development, that they will absorb knowledge without effort.
Renowned throughout the world, until Italy adopted the euro her portrait adorned that country’s bank notes!
Why train as a Montessori teacher?
Many teachers have recognised the benefits that the Montessori method can offer young children and have therefore added a Montessori qualification to their existing teaching degree. For others considering a teaching career and focused on the EYFS development stages, Montessori training offers an entry to teaching via a teaching qualification that is recognised and taught in many countries around the world.
Many Montessori-qualified teachers go on to add extra teaching qualifications to gain level 6 or beyond. Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) would require additional training. Others train specifically to address special needs such as dyslexia. The techniques and philosophy of Montessori remain relevant for teachers addressing any stage of a child’s academic schooling.
Train with us
Aims of the course at one of the House Schools
To introduce students to the Montessori method and to develop and extend their teaching abilities and proficiency.
To provide the requisite placement for 400 hours’ classroom experience with children aged 3 – 6 and to support students while they study online for the course leading to the Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – birth to seven (Early Years Educator) (Level 3 or Level 4) of the Montessori Centre International (MCI)
Structure of the course
At the House Schools the course (Level 3 or Level 4) is over a single academic year running from the beginning of September to the beginning of August. Students are required to be present at the school five days a week from 8.00am to 4.30pm (5.00pm on one of the days) with breaks in the morning and at lunchtime during term-time.
Students spend most of their time in the classroom working alongside a qualified teacher but they may be given additional time for study. In order to provide experience with a wide variety of age groups as well as access to the personalities of a number of members of the teaching staff, students may move to a different classroom each term. Students are required to complete various projects and make their own Montessori materials to use within the classroom. They will be assigned a placement mentor who will meet with the student each week and who will carry out regular assessments. A placement tutor will be allocated by the MCI.
Students follow the MCI online course via Moodle, a virtual learning environment. The course covers:
Theoretical subjects: Study Skills, Montessori Philosophy, Child Development and Observation, Contemporary Early Childhood Practice, Promoting Children’s Health and Well-being
Montessori Areas of Learning: Activities of Everyday Living, Education of the Senses, Numeracy and Arithmetic, Literacy, Knowledge and Understanding of the World, Creativity
Professional placement: Developing Montessori Practice and Principles.
Students must complete a minimum of 400 hours of supervised professional placement. During this time students are required to prepare a placement portfolio and complete a series of assignments. These will be assessed by their placement mentor or by their tutor appointed by the MCI. Students maintain a timesheet and the 400 hours are usually calculated after the student has been in the school for ten weeks. At a House School there are 20 hours in the school week which may be counted towards the 400 hours so students generally complete their placement at the end of the summer term.
At the end of the summer term students are required to attend an 11-day apparatus workshop at the MCI and participate in a practical assessment at the end of the workshop.
On successful completion of all assignments, the Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy – birth to seven (Early Years Educator) is awarded.
Student fees are paid by the school. Students receive a bursary of £16,500 gross annually, payable on the last working day of each month from September 2017 to July 2018. The bursary is subject to deduction of income tax under PAYE and employee’s national insurance contributions. The total amount of income tax and national insurance contributions to be deducted each month will be between £98 and £206 depending upon the student’s income from other sources.
A contract is exchanged between the school and the student.
Lunch is provided free of charge each day during term time.
Other fees paid by the school
In addition the school pays the registration and course fees charged by MCI for the diploma (£2,850 or £3,100, depending on the level)
Thus the bursary and study fees are together worth almost £20,000.
The student will obtain invaluable “hands on” experience of working in the Montessori classes of a leading co-educational independent school. In addition, the student benefits from:
Mentoring by an experienced Montessori teacher on the school’s staff
The opportunity to compare notes and share experiences with other students sponsored by the school
The provision of stationery, use of computers and access to a photocopier (black and white printing only).
Hot drinks at breaks, and lunch.
Support in finding a teaching job for the following academic year (although a job cannot be guaranteed)
to be aged 18 or over
to have at least 3 GCSEs at Grade C or above including Maths and English*
if English is not your first language, to hold IELTS 6.5
if not a UK/EU citizen, to hold a full and relevant visa for the duration of your studies
to study at Level 4, to have one A Level at Grade C or above plus one additional A Level*
*or NARIC statement of comparability
We stress the need for a high standard of spoken and written English.
Where does Montessori training lead?
Montessori-trained teachers work in schools all over the world, subject to local regulation. Many go on to add further teaching qualifications, such as a diploma in the teaching of dyslexic children or adults. A number use the Montessori diploma as a qualification to start a university course in teaching (e.g. a Bachelor of Education honours degree or similar, such as that offered by the University of London’s Institute of Education). Studying for this can either be full time at university or by completing such courses on an in-service basis as the teacher continues to teach in a school. Of course, the entry requirements for each university and its degree courses vary but a number of staff at House Schools Group have followed these routes with great success.
Students studying at Level 3 have a progression opportunity to gain a Level 4 Diploma through work-based study. After successful completion of the Diploma at Level 4, students can progress to the second year of the Foundation Degree at the MCI and combine study and work to gain a Level 5 qualification. This can then lead to a full BA Hons Early Childhood Studies at London Metropolitan University.
Here is what recently qualified Montessori students who are now full time teachers have said about the Montessori course:
“For me, applying to do the course was one of the best decisions I ever made! It opened so many doors for me. I was very fortunate to find myself completing the training in such a supportive and nurturing environment and because of this I was able to continue to gain further qualifications (QTS) after completing the Montessori training. I went on to enjoy teaching both reception and Key stage 1 over the years and look back on my time on the course, and at Orchard House School, with great fondness.” Mary Lee
“The Montessori course provided us with a thorough insight into teaching. We had the opportunity to work alongside qualified teachers in a structured Montessori environment, gaining first hand experience of working with children of different ages. It has therefore encouraged and enabled us to further our teaching careers.” 2014/15 cohort
Early Years Foundation Stage (children aged 3 to 5)
Montessori teachers work principally with children aged 3 to 5; in the UK this is known as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The qualifications of adults who work with children in the EYFS are strictly regulated by the government and every qualification has been awarded a level dependent on the complexity of the course of study. To have sole charge of a class or a group of children larger than eight any teacher or childcare professional must now hold a Level 6 qualification. The Diploma is graded as Level 3 or Level 4. Prospective students must therefore be aware that if they wish to have sole charge of a class larger than 8 pupils then after finishing the course they will need to undertake further study. As mentioned earlier, many go on to gain Qualified Teacher Status.
How to apply
We offer year-long placements to Montessori trainee teachers at House Schools Group.
Please complete an application form. (You can download Acrobat Reader free of charge from Adobe’s website). You should print out the form and send it to the school of your preference together with a recent passport sized photograph and a curriculum vitae. The address of each school can be found at the bottom of the application form. If you have questions you would like answered before completing an application form, please contact the relevant school in which you are interested, or the consultant to the House Schools Group, Mrs Sally Hobbs. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07889 988 522
Candidates may then be invited to a meeting with children and staff in their chosen school, during which there will be an opportunity to discuss the course with the school’s head. Candidates may be asked to spend 20 minutes on a short exercise. Following acceptance by the chosen school students must apply to the Montessori Centre International for a place on the relevant diploma course. An interview will be arranged, and qualifications will be checked. Students are also required to complete a medical questionnaire. If successful, students will then be registered at the MCI and given access to Moodle, the online course.